In 2013, Chris Jay and Sara Hebert of Shreveport dreamed of creating something that would highlight the culture and people of northern Louisiana. This dream came to fruition through a podcast called All Y’all.
Together, the husband-wife duo went straight to work and produced several podcasts. Then one year later, All Y’all held its first live storytelling event.
“We always saw this project as a podcast,” says Sara. “But as soon as we did the first live event, our audience didn’t really think about the podcast. We became known as this storytelling event.”
All Y’all is what Sara calls “hyper-local.” It’s a unique position, and it allows Chris and Sara to dive deeper into their corner of the state by inviting members of the Shreveport-Bossier City community to share their perspectives on life in the area.
“I’m always knocked off my feet by the bravery of some storytellers. We’ve had some stories told on stage that I thought, ‘This person is laying it all on the line,’” says Chris.
Now, Chris and Sara are taking All Y’all Live to a new level through their first ever storytelling brunch called Let’s Eat. Six different narrators will share their stories about cooking, eating, and things that happen when gathered around the table. Narrators include: Anthony “Catfish” Woodward, Marli Chesak, Ashley Passantino, Henry Griffin, Jada Durden, and Taskeen Begum. Additionally, the event will feature live musical interludes from local folk trio Twang Darkly.
All proceeds from this special brunch will go toward All Y’all’s 5th Annual Fidnto Award, a cash award given to those who are fixing to (or “fidnto”) do something great in the community. This year’s Fidnto Award recipient is the upcoming Shreveport Stuffed Shrimp Festival of 2019.
“For whatever reason, [Shreveport-style stuffed shrimp] hasn’t been celebrated the way other foods get celebrated around here,” says Chris. “So, we’re working to correct that.”
Shreveport-style stuffed shrimp are butterflied, stuffed with crabmeat dressing, then tossed in flour, and deep fried. The festival will honor this local dish made popular during the 1950s as a house special at Freeman & Harris Cafe, a black-owned restaurant where black and white customers dined together—a rarity for its time.
“People and culture drive what we do, and food is the conversation starter that leads us to the people,” says Sara. “Good Southern food is the great equalizer.”
All Y’all Live: Let’s Eat will be held on Sunday, November 4, 2018, at Red River Brewing Co. in Shreveport from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets for the event are $15 each and are available for purchase here.